French court awards woman disability grant for electrohypersensitivity (EHS)

A French court has awarded a disability grant to a woman claiming to suffer from a debilitating allergy to electromagnetic radiation from everyday gadgets such as mobile phones.

The 39-year-old applicant, Marine Richard, hailed the ruling a ‘breakthrough’ for people afflicted by Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).

The condition is not recognised as a medical disorder in most countries, including France, but sufferers insist that exposure to mobile phones, wifi routers, televisions and other gadgets cause them anything from mild discomfort to life-ruining disability.

Scientific studies have found no evidence linking electromagnetic exposure to the symptoms – tingling, headaches, fatigue, nausea, or palpitations.

Richard, a former radio producer, lives a reclusive life in the mountains of southwest France, in a renovated barn without electricity, and drinking water from the well.

In a ruling last month, a court in the southern city of Toulouse decided she can claim a disability allowance – about 800 euros ($A1280) per month – for a period of three years.

The ruling accepted that Richard’s symptoms prevent her from working, but stopped short of recognising EHS as an illness.

Her lawyer Alice Terrasse said the decision could set a legal precedent for ‘thousands of people’ concerned.

‘It’s a breakthrough,’ Richard added.

The World Health Organisation lists EHS as a condition, but says there is ‘no scientific basis’ for linking the symptoms to electromagnetic exposure.

Sweden and Germany have classified it as an occupational disease.

Via: Sky News


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Electrohypersensitivity Forum – 11 October, Oakleigh

EHS Forum

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Smart meters: You paid billions for electricity companies to benefit – Victoria’s Auditor-General report

Households forced to pay for the multibillion-dollar rollout of smart meters may never see their promised benefits, according to a scathing report by Victoria’s Auditor-General.

The report lashes the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources for failing to track properly the multibillion-dollar costs associated with the program, preferring instead to crow about its benefits out of context.

It says the largest benefit in the estimated life of the program — $1.4 billion out of $3.2 billion — could be attributed to avoiding costs such as installing and manually checking older meters. These are savings that flow primarily to electricity distributors, rather than consumers, who have instead seen bills climb higher and higher.

“When the rollout was announced, the benefits were promoted widely. However, when the government reviewed the program in 2011 it was clear there would be no overall benefit to consumers, but instead a likely cost of $319 million,” the Auditor-General’s report said.

The report says costs are likely to go beyond that figure, and that, even in ideal conditions, consumers will only receive about 80 per cent of the benefits that have been identified.

“The reality of the smart meter rollout is that the state approved a program, many of the costs of which it could not directly control, nor drive many of the benefits ascribed to it,” the report says.

“Nevertheless, the rollout is now complete and Victoria has infrastructure in place that might lead to future innovation and benefits to consumers. Government’s role must now be to help consumers to get the most out of what they have paid for,” it said.

Anti-smart meter campaigner Sonja Rutherford, of Broadmeadows, is one of thousands around the state who has refused the smart meter upgrade. She says her meter has been running for 45 years without incident.

“The so-called benefits the government keep repeating — none of that has come to fruition that I know of,” Ms Rutherford said.

She said smart meters, coupled with internet-connected appliances, would allow companies to cut off power to particular appliances at their whim. Up to 75,000 people kept “locked box” meters, refusing the upgrade, she said. A meter reader still comes to her house.

“I don’t know what the advantage is except that they can rake in money for the cost of the rollout,” she said.

Marc Moncrief, via: The Age

Advanced Metering Infrastructure Reform Policy

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Dr Karl Kruszelnicki gets his science facts so terribly wrong

Source: Dr Don Maisch, EMFacts

This morning (Sunday) on the ABC breakfast TV program, Australia’s well known science presenter and resident expert on all things, Dr Karl Kruszeinicki was interviewed on reports of dangers from Wi Fi and mobile phones. No transcript is available yet but to briefly summarize Dr. Karl’s viewpoint he saw no dangers other than heating (the old thermal paradigm) and actually said that the WHO had examined the issue and “found nothing”. For a scientist to get his facts so wrong on a nationwide ABC broadcast is inexcusable. Nothing was said about the WHO’s agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) classification of radiofrequency as a possible human carcinogen. Nothing about Hardell’s findings, just a highly public all clear for the telco industry and the government’s pro-telco policy.

Dr Maisch’s full response can be found here: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki gets his science facts so terribly wrong

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Stop Smart Meters Australia is having an impact!

In a recent post on Stop Smart Meters Tasmania, Tasmania’s Don Maisch writes about a presentation he attended at the University of Tasmania about smart grids and how grid implementation varies from place to place.  The speaker, who was apparently pro-smart meters, admitted that Stop Smart Meters Australia has had an impact on the rollout of smart meters across other Australian states.  Surprisingly, she even showed a webpage of Stop Smart Meters Australia in her presentation!

This is not an exact word for word quote of the speaker, Associate Professor Heather Lovell, but the sentiments she expressed:

Victoria was selected as the test case for a planned mandatory roll-out of the smart grid, with the rest of the nation to follow suit later. However the activist group Stop Smart Meters Australia (SSMA) was very effective in raising public concern about various problems with the implementation of the smart grid in Victoria. As a consequence,  plans for a further mandatory roll-out in other states were shelved.

SSMA was not criticised but was presented as how a committed public interest activist group can influence policy.

SSMA site screen captureDon also writes that Tasmanians (and others) have had an impact on the Tasmanian rollout of smart meters through their submissions to the Tasmanian government’s proposed energy policy.

Congratulations and thanks to all the groups and individuals who are helping to curb the poorly considered rollout and installation of dangerous wireless technologies.

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Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity in the News

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity has been featuring in the news  recently.

TripleJ HackSSMA’s Vice President, Mr Steve Weller, was interviewed recently on the TripleJ program “Hack” on the topic of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).

The recording can be accessed via the following link: TripleJ Hack Podcast

Once again, Australian psychologist researchers from Wollongong University are weighing in on this contentious topic by suggesting that EHS is likely to be a “Nocebo” effect. They often cite studies performed by other industry paid psychologists such as Dr James Rubin to support their case and continue to ignore evidence to the contrary which links EHS to electromagnetic radiation exposure. Researchers in this country appear to be either unwilling or not competent to judge current scientific evidence that wireless radiation is likely to be harmful to our long term health.

It is indeed a sad state of affairs to see that Australian science (compared to other more socially responsible countries) is always the last to recognize syndromes for what they really are because of vested interests interfering and controlling the message.

Also in the mainstream news, an EHS article entitled “Brain on Fire” written by journalist Mark White appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend magazine.


Bruce Evans with his smartphone-sized digital meter.“Hellish headaches are just the start for people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity – and in our wi-fi world, there’s almost nowhere to hide.

After an hour of measuring radio-frequency levels around Benalla, the north-eastern Victorian city of 9300 deep in Ned Kelly country, Australia, Bruce Evans puts down his smartphone-sized digital meter.

He says he wants to demonstrate how badly cordless phones leak radiation, and there’s one in the Benalla bookshop he can test. He strides off with intent on a sunny Sunday morning, a burly man with a shaved head, like a friendly bouncer you nonetheless wouldn’t want to mess with.

Evans, a 50-year-old web designer and former Australian Army commando, is showing me where he can go without falling ill. He says he has a controversial condition known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), triggered by electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by power lines, devices such as smartphones and laptops, by wireless routers and towers pumping out telco and NBN signals – the building blocks of the modern economy; indeed, of modern living as we know it.

Symptoms range from a mild headache through to tingles, tinnitus and heart palpitations to incapacitating migraines, fatigue and nausea. Being EHS puts a huge mental strain on sufferers, both from their symptoms and from not being believed.”

The full story can be found here Brain on Fire

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Electomagnetic hypersenstivity to mobile and wifi is ‘serious handicap’, French court rules

The U.K. Telegraph reports a French court rules that a woman is unable to work due to the debilitating effect of mobile and wi-fi waves and should receive €800 per month in adult handicap welfare, in legal first that could lead to many more claims.

A French court has ruled that electromagnetic hypersensitivity to mobile and wi-fi waves is a “serious handicap”, setting a legal precedent that lawyers say could lead to “thousands” of claims.

Although the condition is not officially recognised in France, a Toulouse court in charge of disability related disputes ruled that Marine Richard, 39, a former script writer and radio documentary director, displayed “irrefutable clinical signs” of suffering from a syndrome linked to electromagnetic waves.

Ms Richard, , has “85 per cent functional impairment” due to her condition meaning she cannot work, making her able to an adult handicap allowance of around €800 (£588) per month for three years, which could be renewed, the court decided.

The July ruling went unnoticed at the time but was unearthed on Wednesday by AFP.

“This judicial recognition is a major first in France,” said Etienne Cendrier, spokesman for Robin des Toits (Robin Roofs), an association that raises awareness over health issues linked to wireless technologies.
Ms Richard, who has been living as a recluse in the mountains of Ariège, southwestern France, to escape the waves she says have made her life hell, described the ruling as “a breakthrough”.

She currently lives in a restored barn with no electricity or running water and no road leading to the property.

Sweden is the only country in the world to recognise electromagnetic hypersensitivity, or EHS, as a functional impairment. Sufferers complain of terrible headaches and dizziness making it hard to think or speak clearly. They say their symptoms are brought on when they come into contact with mobile, wireless phone, or wireless internet waves.

Alice Terrasse, Ms Richard’s lawyer, said the ruling was an historic first in France and could lead to legal action from the “thousands of people concerned by this but who have not gone to the courts until today”.

“They are very isolated, have very little contact (with the outside world), and for them the procedures (to seek financial or legal aid) are extremely complicated,” she said.

Mr Cendrier from Robin des Toits said that the court ruling showed that “justice, as is often the case, is ahead of politicians”, which he accused of “protecting industrial players”.

Ms Richard said she hoped the ruling would lead to the maximum legal limits of such electromagnetic waves being reduced. “We know how to make much less polluting technologies. That said, it’s a political choice,” she said.

A French law passed in January merely called for a report early next year on the issue.

Henry Samuel, via The Telegraph.

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